Pride, Potato Chips, and Procrastination ~ Turning Struggle into Striving

Posted on Sep 22, 2011 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 69 comments

Since posting my entry on “Woman’s Struggle with Food,” I heard a sermon which provides excellent follow-up advice. Although Pastor Al Pittman was speaking in spiritual terms, about struggles in our everyday journeys of faith, I believe the principle applies practically and meaningfully to our relationships with food and fitness too. I have been VERY excited to share this with you because I experienced “deliverance” from a struggle in my own life soon after hearing the message. I believe this same freedom from however you currently struggle is waiting for you too! Being freed from the power of a “cookie”—literally or figuratively—feels SO good…Let me explain.

When Jesus said, “Strive to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24) He was describing the effort we must make to enter the kingdom of God. The original Greek meaning for the word “strive” is “to contest; to compete for a prize; to contend with an adversary.” In other parts of the Bible, it is the same word used to describe the strict training an athlete endures before competing in a race (1 Corinthians 9:25), struggling with all of one’s energy (Colossians 1:29), wrestling in prayer (Colossians 4:12), and fighting the good fight of the faith (1Timothy 6:12 and 2 Timothy 4:7). Clearly there is nothing casual, accidental, or nonchalant about the way Jesus wants us to approach that narrow door…but why? Why must we make such a determined effort?  

Because, Jesus also said, “wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction” (Matthew 7:13) which is precisely where our struggles lie! Whether we wrestle with innumerable varieties of pride, potato chips, or procrastination (just to name a few “cookies” in our lives), because we are human we experience these wars within our heart, mind, body, and soul on a daily basis. Whether the result of our own sinful nature or the devil’s toying with us, these struggles can hold us hostage and make us feel powerless. And that, my friend, is why we must get off the broad road and STRIVE!

Perhaps for you the Paradise behind that narrow door contains freedom from habitual sin with which you have been struggling for years. Perhaps it contains a smaller pair of jeans, a more physically fit physique, or completing your first marathon. Scripture tells us the kingdom of God is a matter of “righteousness, peace and joy” (Romans 14:17).  I think the “joy” part of that both here on earth and in heaven will be very personal for each one of us…unique to how God created us. It is very easy to walk through life on the broad road—and the devil will do his best to entice us to stay there—but JOY is found by fighting our way through the struggles and striving for victory. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24).

There is wisdom in Nike’s slogan “Just Do It!” Do you know “nike” is a Greek word which means “victory”? Whether you would like to lose 20 pounds, or start exercising three days a week, or get rid of a secret life of sin, victory is waiting for you. But don’t “Just Think About It!” Get off that broad road where there is much to make you stumble and onto the narrow path which is far more safe and conducive to helping you reach your goals. You will be protected by loving boundaries and guided with wise instruction. Behind that narrow door is God’s very best for you…come on, let’s strive!

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